Talk:The Bell Curve/Archive1

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...and? what's it about? why does RW have an "article" on it? is this an Ed Poor joke? Totnesmartin 19:18, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

its a non peer reveiwed racist book that claims there is a high corelation between race and iq. The Authors were libertarian hacks. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Yeah it's an Ed Poor joke. And it needs moar Ed too. Secret Squirrel 01:23, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

How about I go and read the book? - π 01:39, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Oh it is 845 pages. I deserve lots of kudos if I do this. - π 01:41, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
The Bell Curve wars is only 216 pages, I might read that instead. - π 01:43, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
It's one of those books I've sort of kind of almost bought at the used bookstore but changed my mind when I saw the size of that tome. I have my limits when it comes to book-learnin' - if it's over 500 pages forget it. Anything that long is getting dangerously close to Atlas Shrugged/War & Peace territory. Maybe there are Cliffs Notes for it though? Secret Squirrel 01:45, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
I once read Ulysses, didn't understand it much but I actually got through it. That gets me high point in the pretentious dick circles. - π 01:50, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
I once read Njals saga cover-to-cover, which does not help with the pretentious d**ks, but it did make me a much more informed Odinist. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:02, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
(EC) As I recall, the APA made a study and did not find much seriously wrong with most of The Bell Curve's claims. Much of the opposition to the book, in my experience at least, came from certain axe-grinders who were offended that >gasp!< some people are actually smarter than some other people. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 01:55, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
But you also have to look at the fact that someone who just came in from another part of the world, even if they have a masters in their culture, will have a different upbringing than ours plus the language barrier, so would score differently. You also have people who, while having a high intelligence, drop out of high school due to family things (like my brother) or just like to learn(like me)OpalHonors 01:58, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
(1) Nobody was mentioning cultural or linguistic issues; (2) Two words: Anecdotal evidence. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:02, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Thankyou for clearing that up for me...OpalHonors 02:06, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

"As I recall, the APA made a study and did not find much seriously wrong with most of The Bell Curve's claims." Do you have a reference for dat? RaoulDuke 02:27, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Here is the study. There is also a summary of it on the Wikipedia page, which shows only one major point of contention, viz., that genetic differences between the races are not at fault for any racial IQ disparity. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:40, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks!. RaoulDuke 02:44, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Racially biased IQ test[edit]

I've never quite understood how that works. Bastard bastard Hoover! 19:09, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Kenneth Eells, summarized by Nicolas Bommarito, gives an example in his paper "Intelligence and Cultural Differences":

Bias in an item on intelligence tests can result from cultural familiarity with one of the objects or words that occur in the question. For example, one item that appears in a form with pictures and in another form with words, gives a set of four instruments, harp, drum, violin, and piano. The test taker is then asked to cross out the one that doesn’t belong. Over half of the lower status children picked the harp, rather than the correct answer of drum, probably because they were unfamiliar with the harp as an instrument from a lack of exposure to it.

And of course, it doesn't help that there's still no agreed-upon metric for measuring or even defining intelligence.--ADtalkModerator 21:17, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
I didn't think IQ tests had those type of questions. Standardized tests do. — Sincerely, Neveruse / Talk / Block 21:24, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Speaking from my own experience, at least, such tests are common in IQ tests. My own as a child included something called the "Animal House" which had almost the same thing described above.
Check out WP:The Mismeasure of Man. Gould's book delves deeply into this.--ADtalkModerator 21:30, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Most of the intelligence tests I've taken were of the picture or logical inference sort, but anyway... Bastard bastard Hoover! 22:01, 4 February 2010 (UTC)


Can one say the Bell is cracked? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 16:38, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Did anyone here actually read this book?[edit]

A few of you were honest enough to say you hadn't. I've read it more than once, and it bears little resemblance to the caricature presented in this article. In my copious free time I will write an accurate synopsis.

Short version: the book is about the problem of cognitive stratification. Most Americans value meritocracy and believe that the US is more or less a meritocracy. There was a time when if your father was an ox-driver, then you too were an ox-driver, no matter how smart you might be--unless you were a woman, in which case you would marry an ox-driver regardless of your abilities or inclination. But in modern America smart young people are, in general, identified early and educated accordingly. The problem, according to The Bell Curve, is that the smart people are going to more or less the same schools, entering more or less the same professions, and more or less marrying each other. This will lead, in the author's view, to a society with a permanent overclass of smart people and a permanent underclass of dumb people, where merit and heredity will be more or less the same thing and social mobility will be nearly impossible--which violates the spirit of meritocracy.

The argument is developed in detail and cites extensively from peer-reviewed literature, which is why it is so long.Gabriel Hanna (talk) 04:31, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

I did not read the book, but I agree that the article focuses overmuch on one part of the book and not enough on the central intelligence-determines-social-status argument. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:45, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
I read it a long time ago (honestly, I remember skimming through a bit of it). I also read a bit of The Bell Curve Wars. I remember finding some of it interesting and well-done, but much of it relies on the "Marching Morons/Idiocracy" argument. I also recall some instances of quote mining and misinterpretations of cited research, as well as citations of some really sketchy studies (which is why "citing extensively from peer-reviewed literature" is not always what it seems). The race-related stuff is what it's known for, though, and that's where it seems to go completely off the rails. It's been too long for me to really judge whether they were blatantly abusing research or just fell too far into a trap of genetic determinism. However, the article could use more detail on the central argument/non-race related stuff, as well as the APA task force and resulting statement. I also happened to find this article collecting some further criticism with some quick Googling, though I haven't read through it yet. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 06:05, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

"Marching Morons" is almost the polar opposite of the thesis of this book, as it is concerned with the possibility of SMART people permanently taking over society--and I note Nebuchadnezzar can't cite anything specific that is objectionable. As I said, we need a ACCURATE synopsis of this controversial book; the authors long complained that the bulk of the invective directed against it came from people who had not, apparently, read it.Gabriel Hanna (talk) 23:47, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Of course, none of article authors has read the book. Here is an example. They cite philosopher Ned Block as a clever person who pointed to silly HM's mistake! But those are silly who are going to believe RW. HM claim at page 298 or their book: A good lace to start is by correcting a common confusion about the role of genes in individuals and in groups. As we discussed in Chapter 4,scholars accept that IQ is substantially heritable, somewhere between 40 and 80 percent, meaning that much of the observed variation in IQ is genetic. And yet this information tells us nothing for sure about the origin of the differences between races in measured intelligence. This point is so basic, and so commonly misunderstood, that it deserves emphasis: That a trait is genetically transmitted in individuals does not mean that group differences in that trait are also genetic origin. HM do point at comparison of intelligence with parental SES controlled for, which RW and Block ignore.Alliumnsk (talk) 10:20, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

The Truth[edit]

Some people really can't accept the truth around here and let emotions get in the way of actual arguments based on proven IQ differences between the races. The various races in the world are exactly like dog breeds, each developing collective abilities to adapt to their surrounding environment. IQ is highly hereditable. Probably 50% or more.

Here's a very credible source to back me up on this. Watch these videos and learn the truth and how a Jeffersonian Republic can finally be established in this multicultural, White genocide hellhole of a country we're living in right now. Progressives, Atheistkult, and neocons deserve each other in a sexual way. (talk) 05:37, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Dog breeds? This just goes to show how little you know of genetics and humanity. And dogs.
But mostly, you're putting blind faith in statistics and making assumptions about correlation and causation. Racism has always divided society. Some races put themselves on top, forcing others to the bottom. A good example would be the African-American population in the United States. Forcibly brought here some centuries ago, this group has been systematically disenfranchised for the sake of having a cheap and stable workforce. When they were slaves, it was illegal to teach them to read. When they were emancipated, they were terrorized by racist groups. They were placed in segregated schools, that received inferior funding and attention. From their impoverished beginnings, African-Americans were and are forced to live in destitute neighborhoods. Even after desegregation, these neighborhoods had inferior access to public services (schools, police, and the rest). So of course, without proper education, a group may score less as a whole. But only because they've been pushed down.
If you compare IQ and wealth, you'll see that the poor score lower than the rich. This isn't because poverty is a gene akin to intelligence or skin color. It's because the poorer you are, the worse your living conditions. The more crime in your area, the less schooling, the less decent food you have to eat, the worse you will do on an IQ test. But you're only comparing IQ and race. Because you're a racist.--"Shut up, Brx." 06:34, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
You know fully well that "racism" was a word coined by that Marxist Leon Trotsky back in the early 1930s. Here is Thomas Jefferson to back me up in my assertions. Racial differences can be proven with FBI statistics, SAT scores, ACT scores and other kinds of evidence.
"Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free. Nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion has drawn indelible lines of distinction between them." (talk) 07:37, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Why is there so much Black on Black crime? Why are so many of America's most dangerous cities like Detroit, Newark, Camden, North Philadelphia and many others just happen to have a high Black population? Why is it "racist" to point out these highly observable trends in certain populations of people. I also believe that East Asians and Ashkenazi Jews have the highest intelligence out of all the various races. (talk) 07:39, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
In response to some of the other points you have raised, I never denied that factors such as nutrition and education can possibly influence the outcomes of IQ tests, but the question is how much of that intelligence is genetically heritable and how much of the rest is influenced by socioeconomic factors. If you like Blacks so much, then why don't you explain why Liberia ended up being such a hellhole like most of Africa and why everything in South Africa started to decline after the end of Apartheid and don't get all emotional and resort to ad hominem attacks. You have already called me a racist, when I identify myself as a realist. (talk) 07:44, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
You could also say that various other groups around the world have been enslaved and persecuted, like the Chinese in America or the Japanese that were put into internment camps during the FDR administration, but they seem to have progressed much further than Blacks, have they not? (talk) 07:52, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
They can't explain it because they are in cahoots with those who deny it the most. The most invested in race denialism, the Jews. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
You know, people who are oppressed, systematically discriminated against, are probably going to reject the bogus basis of others' prejudice. What is 'denying the fact I deserve more than them!' to you is 'denying that the reason we are repeatedly stepped on is true' to us. The effect Jewish people have on you is that they make you feel kind of uncomfortable and scared. The effect you have on Jewish people is that you make them feel kind of dead.±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRsufficiently advanced argument still distinguishable from magic 15:14, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
I was trolling a couple of months back. Happy to see you guys fell for it. Toodles. (talk) 21:37, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

My comment after reading this "article"[edit] this: it takes profound naivety indeed to claim that pro-nurture bias is at all smaller than pro-nature bias in study of reasons behind differences in achievement.

Who wants to promote the view that said differences are innate? Maybe a number of factions in a society. Probably few of them.

Who wants to promote the view that said differences are environmental? LITERALLY 99% OF HUMAN BEINGS ALIVE (the remaining 1% being autistic etc. individuals who care not about making others feel good about themselves, as by promoting environmental, "motivating" positions of potential for personal improvement).

Literally everyone wants to believe, and wants others to believe, that "one can improve". It is the default, positive position, the one we're intuitively willing to accept, the one we intuitively derive from observation, and so on, and so on--but it is only because the innate limits to improvement are inherently harder to investigate. We observe every day the role of environment, while the role of nature cannot be observed directly. It is extremely naive to think that the vast majority of bias isn't in support of the dominant role of the environment.

Who wants to think about limitations to their achievement? Who wants to give it any more consideration than is necessary? Whom can one trust not to minimise and marginalise such considerations--and any conclusions as might result from them? (talk) 00:25, 22 February 2014 (UTC)


I assume the phrase near the end "feast on the blood of white babies" is snark and not cannibalistic. My snark detector is in the shop ... MarmotHead (talk) 15:27, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

Gould discredited?[edit]

A valid Gould-discrediting reference was placed by some BoN. It's a legitimate thing, but I don't have the expertise to evaluate how far it goes and how relevant it is to this page. To someone who does (or is bored), please check it out and see how much (little) this page needs to change. I think it's a small issue, but what do I know?!?! MarmotHead (talk) 17:16, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

What I don't understand about this[edit]

Something I've never really understood about the whole race and intelligence debate: Even if we grant, for the sake of the argument, the premise that the underlying idea (while of course extremely dubious considering that even "unmixed" human populations cannot be neatly segregated into racial groups – and what about multiracial people, like Obama, or those with a single grandparent or great-grandparent from a "less intelligent" race who can still "pass" as belonging to the more intelligent race? –, that the idea that somehow some major regional human subgroups are less adapted to their respective environment than others makes little sense and that most intelligence is social intelligence anyway, etc.) is sound – i. e., "race" and "(hereditary) intelligence" can be somehow defined/operationalised – and true – i. e., some sort of correlation holds and it favours, say, white people and disfavours black people or "people of colour" somehow – what concrete consequence would follow from that?

If some group of humans is innately less intelligent than others, doesn't that mean that they're, effectively ... disabled?!

And doesn't that mean we should help them?

Oh wait, I fear I'm still thinking far too leftist-like ...

Duh, disabled people, even if they're white (but poor – Stephen Hawking is fine, apparently), would be left to die in the streets just like blacks. Or actively eradicated.

Because your value as a human being derives from ... what exactly? Your bank account? Your ability to defend yourself?

OK, but then, might as well state that openly.

On the other hand, we are dealing with racists here. Why am I even surprised?

It seems I just answered my own question.

But I do wonder why the point is not made more often. -- (talk) 23:48, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

That said, some proponents appear to believe that (Ashkenazi) Jews and Asians (except those Muslim ones, presumably) are even more intelligent than whites (though at least Asians are somehow less creative, supposedly – but then, this doesn't seem to hold for Jews). Does that mean that Jews and Asians have a right to eradicate white people as less valuable?

And that the Big Evil Jewish World Conspiracy, whose goal is supposedly exactly that, is only doing the work/will of God, or, alternatively, evolution?

Why resist the inevitable?

Because this time the victim is – *gasp* – you?

Just wondering ...

(Better pray that advanced aliens simply do not consider our planet worth the bother, guys.) -- (talk) 00:06, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Well, racism isn't generally well thought out in the first place... Abed Nadir (talk) 00:11, 18 November 2014 (UTC)